Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/25/12 at 03:54 PM ET
from Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic,
So when a trade executed at the NHL draft on Friday paved the way for his return, Michalek was just as eager as the Coyotes to reunite.
“That team’s really close to my heart; so is the city, and I know they have great fans,” Michalek said. “I’m really happy to be back, and hopefully I can continue playing the way I was when I was there.”
With three seasons left on his contract at $4 million per year, Michalek wants to be a factor in the Coyotes’ future. The team’s recent run to the Western Conference finals reaffirmed that.
“Nobody expected anything out of them again, and they proved everybody wrong,” said Michalek, who is in the midst of rehabbing his hip after a procedure in May but is expected to be ready for training camp.
“They’ve had that mentality for the last three, four years, and (General Manager Don Maloney) and (coach Dave Tippett) they’ve done such a good job putting a competitive team on the ice and playing good defensive hockey, good structured hockey, and it’s the mentality that I like, too.”
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